Paulton Rovers 4

Bemerton Heath Harlequins 4

A brace from Ed Butcher and late goals from Dan Cottle and Nick Hewlett earned Rovers a point against Bemerton Heath Harlequins in an exciting see-sawing game at The Winterfield Stadium on Saturday. The first ten minutes was a period of head tennis which gave little indication of the drama that was going to unfold. Slowly both teams began to settle. The opener came in the 33rd minute when Jamarni Langlais hit a through ball from deep, spooning the ball for Butcher to collect and tap into the open net. The second followed two minutes later when a clearance from the Rovers’ defence was headed on by Martin Lenihan, straight to Ed Butcher who moved forward and struck a low shot into the goal.

Bemerton looked slightly shellshocked for several minutes but as the half came to a close, a counterattack was neatly finished by Remus Nixon to drag themselves back into the game. Bemerton came out for the second half a different team. The opening minutes were dominated by the visitors and within nine minutes had drawn level via their captain Danny Young. Nine minutes later they had the lead when Young carried the ball to the penalty area where he fed Remus Nixon on the right. Nixon calmly slotted the ball past Phillips into the bottom left corner. With morale at a tipping point, it would have been easy for Rovers to fold but they galvanised. The home side introduced Dan Cottle, Jesse Thompson and Milo Murgatroyd. In the 80th minute, Murgatroyd made a great run but his shot was blocked before it could reach the goal. Smelling an equaliser, Dan Cottle won a free kick in the 87th minute. Cottle hit a low shot around the wall that left Creese no chance.

Bemerton had other ideas, and after winning a disputed corner in the 92nd minute, Nixon grabbed his hat trick when he headed in at the near post. Seconds later, a determined Ed Butcher won the ball and launched a cross into the area. Nick Hewlett got the merest glance to guide it past the Bemerton keeper. Needless to say, wild celebrations followed... For the second game this week, Rovers had taken a point from a play-off spot candidate and there has been a visible change to the morale of the players on the pitch. Everyone will be looking forward to the next game which is away at Bideford on Saturday 23rd March.

Jon Green